'Ready for the challenge'

David Gold is looking forward to the start of the new season at West Ham United after the arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager.

The Joint-Chairman said the appointment was "good news" for everyone connected with the club, with the focus now firmly on the start of the Championship season in August - especially once the new fixtures are announced first via whufc.com on 17 June.

He said: "It is sad we are relegated, but we have dusted ourselves down and we are ready for the challenge."

He acknowledged the change in division would mean some players coming and going, subject to the manager's plans, but was confident the club would bounce back quickly.

"It is as much about pride as it is about money. Pride plays a big part in what you want to achieve, for yourselves and the supporters. This is important to us. I promise you we will be looking to be the bookies' favourites on the day we kick-off the new season.

"If we are then you know we have done the right thing and straight away we will go high up on their list of favourites just by bringing in Sam. They will say it shows intent."

On Allardyce, he said it was always the intention to bring in a manager with a proven track record.

"There was one redeeming feature from getting relegated a week earlier. It was that we had a week extra to set up our plans and start the process to bring Sam in. It was important to do that as quickly as possible. There is so much work to do and the sooner you can get started on it the better.

"Will he be able to keep our best players? He has got the remit to do so and we hope in some cases he will. I am looking forward to working with him."